Wednesday, February 21st, 2018

Tips for the showcase circuit

September 13, 2016 by  
Filed under Mental Side, Misc

It’s showcase season!


The Fall is when many high school players hit the showcase circuit in the attempts to woo a college or pro scout into giving up some money.  If you are already a selfish, “me only” player then you may stop reading and move on to another activity.  You won’t learn anything new here today.  Maybe look at yourself in the mirror a few more times or read some of your press clippings.

If you are a player who has been trained to always do what’s best for the team then keep reading and pay close attention.  This post is for you.

Here is the basic concept you have to understand about showcases.

Showcases are about YOU and only YOU! 

If you approach a showcase the way you approach a normal game, you may not take full advantage of the opportunity to show your skills.  A player attending a showcase must first give himself full permission to set aside their “team philosophy” and take a “me philosophy.”  This can be hard for some players.  It starts with giving yourself permission.

Think of it this way.  When a person goes into the boss to push for a raise, he is only thinking about himself and what’s best for his family.  He doesn’t think about the customers who may need to pay a little more if he gets his raise.  He doesn’t think about the person in the next cubicle over who may be underpaid as well.  He walks into the meeting with a “me” attitude and pushes for what is best for “HIM.”  Some may think this is rude or selfish but it is basically a case of “time, place, and manner.”

A showcase is the time and place to think about yourself for once.

With regards to “manner,” here are some other tips on how to actually do it during a showcase workout.

Be vocal.  Coaches are drawn to players who are natural leaders.  Open your mouth on the field.  If it’s a double-play situation, loudly get the pitcher’s attention and say “me and you” on a comebacker.  Tell the other infielders to “make sure of one.”  With a runner on second, tell the infielders to “dive and keep the ball in the infield.”  Tell the outfielders to “come up throwing and hit the cutoff man.”  All these phrases imply leadership and also show scouts that you are knowledgeable about the finer points of the game.  There are a million other examples of this but the key point is to open your mouth.  Be heard.

Be assertive.  Go up to the coaches and introduce yourself.  Especially if you have an interest in attending a school like the one they represent.  If you think a D3 school is a good fit for your skills, make sure all the D3 coaches who are there know your name.  Same thing if you have D1 or D2 skills.  Thank them for coming and that you’d like to hear more about their school after the showcase or in the future. 

Of course, this does require an accurate assessment of your skill level.  If you have D3 skills then understand that the D1 coaches will largely ignore you.  That’s ok.  Use your time wisely and focus on your level.

And another thing … Mom and Dad shouldn’t be doing this for you.  You initiate the conversation with the coach and then introduce your parents if you must.

Do more than what is expected.  Buddy Reed was a 2016 1st round draft pick out of the University of Florida.  At a showcase in high school, he impressed a Florida recruiter because he showed tons of energy and when a lot of other players left, he shagged balls in the outfield.  He didn’t have to do more but he did.  The recruiter noticed.  Reed didn’t have the skills other players had but he made up for it with energy and the appearance that there was no other place he’d rather be than on a baseball field.  It gave some insight into his heart and drive and the coach took a chance on him.  The rest, as they say, is history.  Here is a quote from the Florida coach. (Source)

“I watched him. He worked his tail off that day. He didn’t do anything halfway. He got after it. He had energy. He hit fine, but I was pretty sold already by the time he hit.”

Showcases can be very stressful for players.  Just put your best foot forward, try to have fun, and look at showcases as steps on your baseball journey and not the “end-all-be-all.”  If it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be.

Good luck!

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